HMB is a supplement known primarily for its effects on muscle growth. HMB helps to preserve muscle while allowing your body to utilise more protein. But HMB can also be a very useful supplement for those training for endurance. In some respects the main properties of HMB can be even more important to those participating in endurance training.
HMB for Preserving Muscle
Endurance training requires a huge amount of energy to be burnt by your body. This energy has to be drawn from food that has been consumed or else other resources in the body. The most nutritious and energy rich tissue in your body is muscle. This means that once your body has run out of fuel gained from food it switches to burning muscle. This is where HMB comes in. HMB restricts this action by your body. Endurance athletes usually carry very little mass so retaining what muscle they have is very important. Preserving muscle mass with HMB supports their performance and health, as healthy muscle tissue supports joints and protects against injury.
HMB for Improved Oxygen Use
During endurance training, oxygen intake is very important. The more oxygen your body can use, the better. HMB helps to increase your VO2 max. Your VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can take in from one breath. HMB has been show to greatly reduce the production of lactic acid in muscle. This results in a massively improved resistance to fatigue when training for endurance. HMB can also be beneficial in interval based training by helping to remove lactic acid from the muscle and reducing production while your body is anaerobic.
HMB for Protein Synthesis
When food is taken into the body, it is used as fuel to repair tissue or is stored as fat. As I stated above, endurance athletes burn large amounts of calories while training. All types of nutrition taking in can be used as fuel by the body, including protein. If all the food eaten by the athlete is used for energy during training then there is nothing left to repair and recover after training. This means the body strips away from muscle tissue to fuel activity. Introducing supplemental HMB to your diet can counteract this. HMB increases the amount of protein that is used by your body for repair and muscle growth. By doing this, HMB can enhance the gains you make from each training session. Alongside the effect of preserving muscle, this increased stream of protein to the muscle allows for better muscle retention and growth during and after each training session. HMB is therefore definitely a supplement that endurance athletes should not overlook.